Our Happy Place

A Work in Progress…

The above picture shows what the house and front yard looked like when we first moved in back in 2011.   It was such a cute little house and we knew it had a lot of potential but it was definitely going to take some time and hard work. As we had just moved from South Florida up to Northeast Florida and were still getting settled our budget was very slim so we decided to start working on something pretty easy – the front yard and porch area. If you look close you will see a stone walkway leading from the porch steps to the road. My hubby and I dug each one of those stones out by hand and placed them in a different area closer to the house to make a pathway. We wanted to create a visually appealing area for the flower beds next to the porch and have it lead to the side of the house were we planned to have a garden.  It did take some time making sure that the stones were all level as we placed them as well as fitting them together like a jigsaw puzzle.

The new pathway now lead from the steps of the front porch to the side of the house and we did not have to purchase any new stone!








We also removed the existing small picket fence from the front of the yard and placed them close to the house on both sides.  We painted to fence white to match the white trim on the house. Reusing the fence was a perfect way to enhance the side yards and close in the backyard for our dogs!

Next, we worked on placing mulch and plants in the areas around the porch. Thank goodness for my husband because I do not have a green thumb at all! With both sides of the porch receiving sunlight for most of the day, we opted to place plants that could tolerate prolonged sun exposure.


Looking good!! Already you can see such a huge difference!

We painted the front door a Forrest Green to bring some of the colors up on to the porch and tie everything together.

Then we focused on the side yard, both in front of the fence and behind the fence.  We were able to find folks on Craigslist who were looking to  thin out their flower beds and were offering several varieties of plants for FREE!  Some were ready to be  planted right away and others we had to dig up and transferred but the price was worth it!

These two pictures show the side yard behind the fence. I LOVE how the mulch makes the flower beds look “clean”!!  My hubby found the huge (and HEAVY) stone buried in our yard when we were placing the pathway. He used it to make a bench and incorporated it into the garden!

We added railings and spindles to enclose the porch and to give it more of a cottage feel.

We also built a trellis in the front and planted a couple of Jasmine plants. Our hope was that the jasmine would grown up and along the railings and boy has it!! The pictures above depict how the front of the house looked at the end of 2013. Since then the jasmine has grown up around the porch railings as we wanted, we have upgraded the fence on either side of the house, and we have planted several more beautiful plants. This is still very much a work in progress as the new fence has to be stained, the side garden expanded and vegetables planted (to include an herb garden! Yay!) and I am excited to say that I am in the design phase of creating a fairy tree for the tree in front of the side fence. I hope to have all of this completed by the end of this summer and will share with updated pictures as soon as I can!!

About a month ago, we started working on transforming the inside of the house. Our goal is to create a coastal beach cottage feel throughout the main rooms but as we still have kids at home, the bedrooms will vary. We will be putting up crown molding in our daughters room this week and her room will be complete! I will be posting the pictures and the how- to’s next week so stay tuned for those!